Frequently asked questions

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a general term that refers to talk therapy, counselling, psychosocial therapy, cognitive and behavioural therapies. It’s an over-arching term that describes psychological evidence-based approaches to therapy that have been based on research into the best way to help those with psychological/ behavioural problems. Psychotherapy allows the client and therapist to enter a therapeutic alliance, to bring about relief & wellbeing through insight, techniques & understanding of the issues. Generally, psychotherapists might be considered to have undergone in-depth training involving comprehensive personal therapy themselves.

The first session will be slightly different to other sessions, as this is a time for both client & therapist to get to know each other, ask questions & make sure that the therapy is correct for you. Sessions after this are focused on understanding the problem by talking and listen to you the expert in your life. Agreeing goals & building a workable approach to wellbeing that may involve techniques & strategies to help you overcome any current issues. When working with younger age groups play & art are often used during the session to facilitate an understanding of their inner worlds & help bring about change & insight.

Although you can feel some immediate relief after a therapy session due to feeling heard and understood, sometimes you may feel the opposite, you may feel stressed and tired due to what is being processed. These feeling are all normal and it’s important to remember that change is often uncomfortable. Psychotherapy is aimed at bringing about long-term recovery and wellbeing rather than immediate relief and therefore we should judge its effectiveness by the end result not individual sessions.

Therapy sessions will be pre-arranged and scheduled and regular on-time attendance is important. Arriving late would shorten the length of the session and frequently missed sessions could have a negative effect on the outcome. However, we are aware that sometimes things happen, and your therapist will be understanding of this. Honesty is also an important part of any therapy. Your therapist will not judge you and with honest input the therapist will be able to understand your world and the way you experience it and be more able to help you overcome any issues you are going through. All our therapists are skilled at being able to facilitate difficult conversations and will create a safe space where you can take your time to talk about your life in a non-intrusive considered and thoughtful way.

You can view our Psychotherapists on our Therapist’s page. All our psychotherapists are trained to at least Maters degree level and engage with continued professional development to make sure they can offer you the best and most up to date service. All our psychotherapists started their career by offering psychotherapy for a broad wide range of issues, developing their own specialties, and going on to train in specialist approaches to psychological problems.

Hundreds of research studies have found that psychotherapy is an effective way of bringing positive change to people’s lives. Over 75% of people who complete psychotherapeutic treatment report that it successfully benefited them. With research showing that positive psychotherapy outcomes last longer than medication.

Policies at Mahony & Wood

Your therapist will go through with you in detail about confidentiality and give you plenty of opportunities to ask questions and talk about this. Confidentiality is our way of creating a safe private space where you can talk about any issue you desire without fear of it being disclosed to anybody else. Mahony & Wood take confidentiality very seriously and believe this is the only way to create a supportive safe environment that will facilitate long-term change. What you say to your therapist is kept between you and the therapist, it will not be share with any other member of Mahony & Wood, outside agencies or anybody that you have not given agreement to share with. However, we are committed to preventing harm and if we believe you or somebody else is in serious danger of harm, we are legally required to break any confidentiality agreement and provide information to prevent this harm from continuing/ happening. We believe that any therapeutic relationship can only be built on trust and honesty, and therefore we will always endeavour to be completely transparent and disclose to you our intentions and reasoning for this breaking of agreement before we do it.

All our psychotherapists are required by the professional bodies that they are a member of to have supervision. Supervision is way of ensuring you the best possible service and protection, by talking through your situation, issues, and experiences with another qualified and experienced therapist. This is done in a professional anonymous way and no personal identifiable information is ever shared with the supervisor allowing the therapist to always maintain your confidentiality. The supervisor will offer a second opinion and different insight to your therapy, as well as holding the therapist accountable for providing you a safe and informed service.

When you contact us with an enquiry about our services, we will collect information to help us process your enquiry. This will include name, email, phone number, reason for enquiry. Alternatively, your GP or other health professional may send us your details when making a referral, or a parent/trusted individual may give us your details when making an enquiry on your behalf. If you decide not to proceed, we will ensure all your personal data is deleted at this point. Our therapists keep a record of your personal details to help the therapy run smoothly. These details along with any therapeutic notes are kept securely in a locked filling cabinet in a secure building & are not shared with any third party unless you have given us permission to do so. Once therapy has ended your records will be kept in accordance with the laws around this, usually from 7 years from the end of any contact with the therapist & then securely destroyed.

Our therapists all have their own cancelation policy, but most require 24-hour notice of any cancelation in order to avoid any charge for the session. Psychotherapy sessions need a degree of preparation and time before hand for the therapist to get ready for your session, with all psychotherapists having to pay cost for rental of the rooms, supervision, professional registration, and professional development. It is due to this that our therapists have to charge for sessions that have not been agree at least 24 hours in advance of non-attendance and we ask for your understanding and help with this by giving us as much notice as possible of any session you cannot attend.

Your privacy is very important to us, and you can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure and will only be used for the purpose it was given to us. We adhere to current data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

We try to be as open as we can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. You have a right to ask us to delete your personal information, to limit how we use your personal information, or to stop processing your personal information. You also have a right to ask for a copy of any information that we hold about you and to object to the use of your personal data in some circumstances. You can read more about your rights at To make a request for any personal information we may hold about you, please contact us through our website or speak to your therapist. If you have any complaint about how we handle your personal data, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us through this website. We would welcome any suggestions for improving our data protection procedures. If you want to make a formal complaint about the way, we have processed your personal information you can contact the ICO which is the statutory body that oversees data protection law in the UK. For more information go to

Other questions

Each of our therapist charge differently, so please contact us. We would be happy to discuss this with you. Mahony & Wood pride themselves on their transparency & will never charge anybody for any service without an explanation of costings & your agreement.

This is not a question that it’s possible to answer as everybody is individual and approaches therapy in their own unique way. However, we would like to assure you that Mahony & Wood do not prolong any therapy beyond needed. We will always endeavour to offer you the best & most cost-effective service, coming to an agreed end date at the first possible opportunity without putting your long-term outcome goals at risk.

One-to-one sessions are typically 50 minutes long but can be longer if you have agreed with your therapist that a particular topic, technique, or strategy needs more than the usual 50 minutes.

If it feels okay to do so, you could try talking to the person you’re working with. This would give them a chance to put things right. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to the therapist about your concerns, you can contact us or the professional body that your therapist is a member of (you can find this on our therapist’s page). We will listen to you and take your complaint seriously.

Most therapy consists of seeing a therapist once a week on a pre-arranged scheduled time and date. But with agreement with your therapist this can be more or less frequent depending on your individual situation. Although most of our therapists will facilitate less than weekly sessions, this is not (normally) advisable at the beginning of therapy as the therapeutic relationship, techniques and strategies require consistent and regular adaption to work effectively.

Yes, you can. All our therapists see people face-to-face and offer online therapy upon request and agreement that the issues can be treated effectively in this manner. Some of our therapists also offer phone therapy, but again this will have to be with the therapist’s agreement. Some therapies do require a face-to-face element and some disorders and conditions do not lend themselves to remote working. However, our therapists are experienced and well placed to advise you on this matter.

Talk to your therapist when you want to stop working with them. You can think about whether it’s the right time to end and plan how and when to stop. It’s best not to stop abruptly, if that’s possible. Sometimes therapy can make you feel very unsettled, and this can be difficult to cope with. You can speak to your therapist about this as it happens so that they can support you.

Call 999 or go to your local accident and emergency department if someone’s life is at risk – for example, they have seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose. Or if you don’t feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe. You can find crisis information links at the bottom of every page throughout this website. Or try calling 111 and asking for an urgent GP appointment. You could also contact the Samaritans, a charity which offers a free confidential listening service run by volunteers to anyone in distress 24 hours a day. Call 116 123 or email [email protected]

Need Help?

Please do get in contact. We can talk through the issues you’re facing together & suggest the next steps.

How we can help

We craft healthy lives through specialist psychotherapy.

We mould our services to your exact needs.

At Mahony & Wood we understand right now, you may not know exactly what you need. We recommend getting in touch as a first step to helping us help you.